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International Motion Art Awards: Baldomero Fernandez

By David Schonauer   Thursday February 5, 2015


Last spring, New York-based photographer and filmmaker Baldomero Fernandez was tapped by Temple University to create a short film about the school’s underrated football program that could be used as a player-recruitment and marketing tool. “The program is not one of the premiere programs in the country, but the team is very good. The players and coaches all have a bit of a chip on their shoulder,” says Fernandez. “They wanted to show the grittiness and hard work of their student athletes, along with a taste of where they come from and who they are.” The finished project—a moving ode to sport and athletic character—was named a winner of the International Motion Art Awards 3 competition. For Fernandez, the project proved to be another milestone—and learning experience—in his creative transition from still to motion work.

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International Motion Art Awards
Project: Promotional Film for Temple University Football Program
Created by: Baldomero Fernandez
Agency: Blackrose NYC

Temple University’s football program doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. At least that’s what the program’s coaches and athletes think. That’s why New York-based photographer and filmmaker Baldomero Fernandez was brought in to create a promotional film that could be used as a recruiting and promotional tool.

“They wanted to show the grittiness and hard work of their student athletes along with a taste of where they come from and who they are,” Fernandez notes. “Temple is in the middle of a not-so-great neighborhood in Philadelphia, and its football program is not one of the premiere programs in the country. But the team is very good, and the players and coaches all have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They are out to prove they are better than they get credit for. However, they didn’t want a piece that was about ‘football players in the hood.’”

Fernandez worked with creative directors Eric Lobb and Jared Tomilson of the Blackrose NYC agency to come up with concepts that would convey that message. He describes the process here:

We are all football fans and love competition, so it was lots of fun. We talked about great teams in all sports that were the epitome of who we wanted to portray. The UNLV basketball team of a few years ago and the Miami Hurricanes football team of the 1990’s were some we thought of. We came up with shots we wanted and a general vibe of what the piece would look like. We had a few scripts written, with dialog for coaches or possibly a VO actor to read. However, even though we had all these concepts in our pockets, we realized we had to be flexible and approach this project in almost a documentary fashion, not only because of budget concerns (this was really a labor of love for all of us), but because we knew we were on the team’s schedule with a tiny crew.

The actual shooting had to be incorporated into the team’s busy training camp. We just kept a shot list in our back pocket and figured we’d try some of our concepts if we had time and felt it was possible to do so. We shot for the entire first day of camp and decided to come in at pre-dawn on the morning of the second day and get some pick-up shots and interview some of the coaches. We knew we had our piece when we interviewed the line coach, whose nickname is "V-Dub.” A former football player himself, he gave us our piece in an impromptu moment in the locker room as he spoke about what Temple wanted out of its athletes. It was more than just winning. It was more than about football. It was about becoming a better person every day, in every moment. That was really the essence of what all of our early concepts had been about, anyway. Looking back at our boards and concepts, much of the inspiration led back to the intangibles of sport and competition.

Fernandez shot the piece with a 4K Panasonic GH4. “It’s small and lightweight, so it was a natural choice,” he says. “I wanted to be able to be hyper-mobile, so the GH4 was either handheld or on a shoulder mount so I could move quickly. At one point, I was on the football field running at full speed alongside the athletes to get the gritty handheld feel of the piece.” He edited and color-graded the video himself in Final Cut Pro, then delivered the finished piece to the university, which was so pleased that it budgeted extra money to run the video as a commercial on Philadelphia television stations. Below is a image made from photographs Fernandez made during the shoot.


Fernandez began working in video as well as stills a few years ago. The turning point, he says, was when Canon released it’s 5D Mark II DSLR, which brought HD capability to the masses. “Literally overnight clients all wanted behind-the-scenes footage on photo or video content,” he says. “It became infinitely easier for me to shoot myself and edit and not have to carry a ton of gear or have a DP or expensive equipment. I also decided to really learn the craft of editing and storytelling, so I began taking workshops with screenwriters and film editors. Little by little I’ve been building my reel and working on all kinds of projects and making lots of mistakes. Thankfully none of my mistakes have been catastrophic, and they have all been really great learning experiences.”

 

 

 

 

 

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